Georges St-Pierre proved talk is cheap by handing in another dominant performance over Nick Diaz at UFC 158.
It was regarded as one of the biggest grudge matches in UFC history, and according to UFC president Dana White at the post-fight media scrum, the pay-per-view buys are "trending with Chael Sonnen vs. Anderson Silva."
While all parties involved will ultimately walk away with deeper pockets, Diaz is left with his second consecutive loss in a UFC title bout.
Despite all of the talk and pent up animosity, St-Pierre maintained a cool head and shut down Diaz's offense for a full 25 minutes to earn a lopsided unanimous decision. Surprisingly, Diaz was able to shrug off more takedowns than any of St-Pierre's previous opponents, but it wasn't nearly enough to end the reign of the longtime welterweight king.
The win has caused fans to ponder the future of the welterweight division. Can anyone stop St-Pierre, or will he continue on this dominant path until he retires?
There are plenty of great challenges left for St-Pierre at 170 pounds, but the more appealing ones involve world-class wrestlers with one-punch knockout power. Fighters like Johny Hendricks, Jake Ellenberger and Tyron Woodley come to mind as perfect candidates to threaten St-Pierre's historic title reign.
It's tough seeing any welterweight savvy enough to win a five-round technical battle against him. This is what makes a fighter like Hendricks so dangerous. He isn't going to linger in the middle and allow St-Pierre to dance around on the outside and pick shots.
With all of his technical abilities, St-Pierre is a finesse fighter who never seems comfortable when the pocket closes on the feet. Fortunately, he is the best wrestler in MMA, and there is always the option to take the fight to the ground when opponents get too close.
A fighter with Hendricks' wrestling pedigree should be able to negate some takedowns and force St-Pierre to engage more in the stand-up. St-Pierre has knockout power, but he never fully commits or branches out with more than a two-punch combination.
If Hendricks can keep the fight standing, he should be able to sift past St-Pierre's jabs and find openings to land inside the pocket.
The grudge match with Diaz was the fight fans had waited years to see, but the true test for St-Pierre has always been Hendricks.
Fate will ultimately decide the rest when these two finally meet.
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